Monday, December 20, 2010

Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner - Review and Contest

Sugar and Ice
Kate Messner
271 pgs.

"Curses! The evil supreme ruler of the sugarhouse calls."

Twelve year-old Claire Boucher (Boo-SHAY) loves skating. She's one of the junior coaches at The Northern Lights Skating Club and she always does numbers with her best friend, Natalie. Skating is fun and exciting. But can she take it to the next level? Andrei Groshev certainly thinks so. He offers Claire a full scholarship to train with the best at Lake Placid. This could lead to the Olympics. It will mean more time away from home and less time with her friends. It's an opportunity. One she shouldn't pass up. But what if this dream is not really hers?

My Thoughts
Sugar on Ice is an absorbing, thought-provoking read.  You follow Claire as she starts training for a career in athletics and it makes you wonder about children you know.  In Sugar and Ice we see the children who make sports their choice, along with the juggling of homework, family and friends.  We also see the children who are forced into sports, (it's amazing what students will tell a librarian, it's like their version of a bartender or hairdresser!), we even see the children who do this because their parents did but they don't have the drive even though they have the talent.  It's not what they want.  This gives you an idea of the realism Kate Messner injects into Sugar and Ice.  You know she's researched and observed these children and that's what brings them to life in the book. You are immersed in the skating and in the running of  a syrup farm but you also get to know and understand the characters and their motives.  Messner also included some book and math nerds in the book, and not in a mean way! Yay!  Kids will be able to identify with the characters and will be engaged by this fast-moving plot.

"Destiny is no matter of chance, it's a matter of choice." This poster is on the office of the sports psychologist Coach Groshev sends Claire to see.  This is what Sugar and Ice represents.  It reminds me of The Alchemist, in which Coehlo tells us the universe wants our success, we just have to choose to follow the signs.  What do you think?

I would give this to my dancing and sporting girls along with On Pointe, Soccerland, and Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs.

More Sugar and Ice
Rasco From RIF (Reading is Fundamental) Messner on Student Athletes
Great Kid Books - Sugar and Ice
Kate's Blog - Sugar and Ice Blog Tour

Tasanee, a fellow skater, is an avid reader:

"I need the magic. I love the idea that you can be an ordinary kid and just suddenly, magically, turn into something else.  It makes me feel...Hopeful."

Can you use Tasanee's clues and name the books she reads throughout Sugar and Ice?

The person with the most right answers gets a $10 giftcard from a bookstore of their choice. Contest open to US only.

 Leave a comment after you complete the form.  

1."that popular vampire book" p. 30
2. "...reading a new book that looked a lot like the one she had at orientation...this is the last one in the series" p. 67
3. "...homicidal fairies" p. 113
4."...bloodthirsty pixies. She held up a book with barren trees, silhouetted against a girl's pale neck. She had glittery gold lips." p. 148
5. "...a girl who looked like she was sprouting wings. It was by the same author who wrote the homicidal fairies book." p. 186-187
6. "...a teenaged girl in an old-fashioned dress looking up at the sky....about a girl who makes her own homestead claim out west." p. 265-266

Bonus "a book with a girl spinning on the cover." p.186 (bonus - she doesn't read this one but will count for extra points)

No answers in the comment section please!  Judges decision is final.
Contest ends Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 11:59pm.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an amazing book!Thanks for sharing it with us.

    I think when we see kids push themselves so hard in sports or academics, we have to wonder how much of their aspirations is because of their parents pushing them and how much comes from their own hopes and dreams.


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